When Brad Paisley’s career in country music gets viewed positively through nostalgia-tinted glasses, it’ll be because of genuinely great songs like “Whiskey Lullaby” and a loose, fun public persona that allows for self-depreciating humor. The latter comes through on his annual CMA Awards hosting gigs with Carrie Underwood and a recent appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that featured a high water mark for country love songs, “First Cousins.”
With a straight face, the country star unleashed a hilarious performance that, to say the least, addressed love gone wrong. It started out innocently enough, with the star assuming insurance commercial form: “First date, first kiss, first taste of loving. You were… my first cousin!” More clever wordplay followed (“I’ll always be your first”) as Fallon and the audience burst into laughter. This send-up of classic country ballads, crossed with Paisley’s outlandish sense of humor, probably teases the looseness of his rehearsals or sound checks.
Paisley took whatever stereotypes a national audience might have about a West Virginia native in a cowboy hat and served them back up in an, um, unreleased ballad. It’s a charming case of a Nashville star really putting his personality into a personal appearance.
In the interview, Paisley also revealed that he keeps his crew loose for its summer tour with a pre-show dodgeball game ritual. When asked if his friend Blake Shelton ever plays a round, it was revealed that the “I Lived It” singer is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
There’s still a few more chances to see Paisley on stage this summer, with dates running until early September. You can find a full list of his upcoming concert stops at his official website.